Houston — US coal train loadings increased in the week ended April 9, despite loadings from Northern and Central Appalachia and the Illinois Basin all falling from the previous week, Surface Transportation Board data showed April 16.
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Data filed to the STB by the four major Class I railroads -- CSX, Union Pacific, BNSF and Norfolk Southern -- show US loadings averaged 72 trains/day, up 1.8% from 70.8 trains/day in the prior week and 14.6% higher than the 62.9 trains/day averaged in the year-ago week. It was the third time in the last 21 months that loadings were higher than the previous week and year-ago week.
Since Jan. 1, total loadings have averaged 70.8 trains/day, down 5.4% from 74.9 trains averaged in the same period a year ago.
Average PRB loadings rose to 40.4 trains/day in the latest week, up from 37.1 trains/day in the prior week and 34.3 trains/day in the year-ago week.
Cumulative PRB loadings this year are at 38.2 trains/day, down from 42.2 trains/day averaged in the same period a year ago.
Central Appalachia loadings fell to a seven-week low 12 trains/day, down from 12.5 trains/day a week earlier, but up from 11.7 trains/day in the year-ago week.
Loadings from the CAPP region in 2021 have averaged 12 trains/day, down from 13.2 trains averaged a year ago.
Loadings in Northern Appalachia fell to 10.6 trains/day, down from 11 in trains the prior week but up from 7.1 trains/day in the year-ago week. It was the 12th straight week that was higher than year-ago levels.
Cumulative loadings in Northern Appalachia have averaged 10 trains/day in 2021, up from 9.5 trains averaged last year.
Illinois Basin loadings fell to 3.7 trains/day, down from 3.8 trains a week earlier and 4.1 trains/day averaged in the year ago-week.
Since Jan. 1, Illinois Basin loadings have averaged 4.6 trains/day, up from 4 trains a year ago.
Loadings from outside of the primary basins decreased to 5.4 trains/day, from 6.4 trains/day a week earlier and 5.7 trains/day in the year-ago week.